Monday, October 09, 2006

10/6 session report

I was surprised to see that Ben and I were the only ones that showed up. That was kinda my suspicion, so I only brought 2 player games.

Catan the Card game: I was pleasantly surprised. This game does a LOT more to original Settlers, than San Juan did for Puerto Rico. But it doing that much more, IMO, it stops really resembling the original Settlers. San Juan adds more but still retains PR's 'magic'. It is good game with cool mechanics. The fact that it barely resembles the original Settlers, doesn't detract from it though. It actually adds a lot to modernize this crowd favorite classic.

I'll probably do better next time around. There just a LOT more things to do, and to keep an eye on: random game-altering events, somewhat different ways to get victory points, etc. Plus I miscalculated the value of one of the victory point conditions in this game. In original Settlers you have the victory points for Largest Army and Longest Road. In the card game, there is one for Largest army (which gives you a victory point, AND an extra free resource occasionally), and the most 'commerce-type' buildings (which also gives you a victory point and can give you a free resource occasionally.....BUT! this resource comes from your opponent's stash). My game really slowed down as Ben kept stealing resources from me by having the latter. By the third time he stole stuff from me, it was somewhat late to recover and build enough 'commerce' buildings to steal some of his.

Jambo: Still not getting bored with this game. Like Blue Moon City, I like this game because of the combos you can come up with. I won by a LOT, but to be fair, this is a game were you need to know the cards and its 'flow'.

LOTR Confrontation: It's received some flak lately, but I still enjoy it because of its simplicity and speed of play. This time we tried adding the 'extra' special cards. We both secretly picked 2. The game was WAY better with these. They add a good level of surprise that the regular game lacks (because you can easily calculate what cards your opponent has). Ben won, but it was PAINFULLY close. Frodo bit it early, and Sam was knocking on Mordor's door before Chelob returned to her lair to enjoy some Frodo stew.....hairy feet and all.

Senjutsu: Mix a bit of Stratego and a Samurai theme, and voila.....a truly enjoyable sleeper of a game. I haven't heard much about 'Salvador Games', but this is a truly enjoyable fun little game.

We need to bring more 2 player gems to the table.


At 7:23 AM, October 10, 2006, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

I was planning to skip altogether, but Mark agreed to schedule a short wargame. I manged to talk him into playing War of 1812, a game I've been wanting to get back to the table. It's a short wargame of the block variety. In fact, it's one of Columbia's first 2 designs from way back in 1972 (73?). It might lack the interest of Rommel or Eastfront, but you can teach & play the game faster than you can read the rules for those. Well, almost.

It was a really fun game. We had battles up and down the great lakes with attacks, retreats, amphibious landing, edge-of-the-seat naval battles, Indians, unrealiable US militia, and hardened Brits fresh from Napoleon.

The battles can be pretty random, but somehow it's almost always very suspenseful and only a little frustrating.

The war went all three years, but in the end my Brits edged out the victory. I had some good success in the west early on, and that game me some key breathing room. The Brits get all their reinforcements in the east, and so they often have a very hard time in the west.

While I met the victory conditions, it's important to realize that this game has a very unusual pace and rhythm. Sometimes it feels a bit more like a themed strategy game rather than an actual wargame. Mark did a great job for his first game, doing especially well in the battle for the lakes.

The combo of fun game play, short rules and short play time makes this an outstanding wargame. I originally gave it a "7" on BGG, but I'm likely to raise that by 0.5 or 1.0 pts.

At 9:09 AM, October 10, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

(post above probably for the unpublished 10/9 session report? still a good one, of couse)

At 9:21 AM, October 10, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

MMmmmmm, Frodo stew......

Great session reports, Rob and Ted!

I'll be up for playing some 2-player stuff later in the week if anyone is interested...

At 9:28 AM, October 10, 2006, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

Oops. Wrong date. Wasn't paying attention there.

At 11:32 AM, October 10, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

(read: didn't really read Rob's report)


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